Thursday, 28 July 2016

Love & Friendship


'Love & Friendship' is adapted from a Jane Austen short story called Lady Susan. It is a comedy, and I suppose satire, of manners and relationships amongst titled families in 18th Century England.

A sharp tongued widow, still of marriageable age, engages in intrigues and manipulates relationships to find suitable husbands for herself and her daughter.

The dialogue is often witty and performances are sound in this period piece. I found the single tone and pace a little dull at times and struggled to maintain my focus. Aficionados of Austen and the period, however, will be delighted.

★★1/2

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Funny Girl


The musical 'Funny Girl' is one of those works that is inextricably linked with a specific artist. In this case Barbra Streisand. I have never seen a stage version of it previously and all my memories and images of the work are of the film version with Streisand's Academy Award winning (sharing, in fact) performance.

This was also the first time I have seen a show staged by 'The Production Company'. That company presents three musical works each year for limited performances (ten for each show, I believe) and I was interested to see the quality of their presentations.

Their productions are more than a concert version but not quite a full staging. Although the orchestra (of about twenty six musicians) remains on stage throughout the performance I was fully engrossed in what was as close as you could get to a fully staged show.

The three principals, Caroline O'Connor, David Hobson and the veteran Nancye Hayes were all superb in this story of the rise to stardom and personal life of Fanny Brice. The entire ensemble and the orchestra were as professional in standard as you could wish for.

I was very impressed, so much so that immediately after the performance I booked for the next production in August.

★★★★

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Catching the High Riser

In Melbourne for a brief weekend visit I caught up with Andrew and his partner R for coffee (actually in my case, hot chocolate) at Riverland Bar and Cafe adjacent to Federation Square.

Riverland Bar and Cafe
The weather was rather cool although at that time sunny and thankfully not as dire as the forecast had promised. Hail had been a possibility.

I was on my way to see a performance of 'Funny Girl' just across the bridge visible in the photograph. It was, as always, a pleasure spending time with them.

Friday, 22 July 2016

A technician called to deal with my complaint of pixellation, frozen screens and jumped scenes in recordings through my subscription television service.

I kept several recordings online as examples. He conducted some tests and identified several problems. One being that my signal strength was low; he quoted a reading of 'minus 2'. The other problem in his view was that the original installation provide a 'five way splitter', when all I require is a 'three way splitter'. That is, I only require a signal to split three ways (one to each of the two subscription services I run and one for the internet connection itself.

He replaced the 'splitter' and did whatever it was that produced a signal strength of 'plus 7'.

Whilst he was investigating the problem I asked if he could cut the excess cabling I was left with from the installation. For three years I have had literally metres and metres of excess cabling on my lounge room floor from the miscalculation the installer made of how much cabling I needed. The technician initially declined firmly to touch the cabling at all which was a disappointment but then when he found the jungle of cables overwhelming him as he worked to replace the splitter he changed his mind and to my delight cut much of the excess cabling. I was delighted.

Initially it seemed the technician had solved the recording problems. The first couple of programs recorded perfectly. Unfortunately problems have returned but to nowhere near the extent previously. I suspect the set top box itself, which was not examined by the technician, is playing up.